Gift of life: Check of blood type leads to organ donation

Knox News | Maime Nash

A mother of two will donate a kidney this week to a man she barely knows.

Junior Hollifield, 48, who served in the Navy during Desert Storm, was diagnosed post-deployment with glomerular sclerosis, also known as FSGS. For 20 years, the Navy veteran lived with high blood pressure and declining kidney function, culminating in the need for a kidney transplant.

The Powell man was approved for the operation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2012 and received his first cadaver transplant eight months later. This quick turnaround was surprising, according to his wife, Gretchen, because his B-positive blood type has an average wait time of two to five years.

The joy was short-lived, however. Junior began to suffer complications with the new kidney within a year of the transplant, and the search for a live donor immediately got underway. Continue reading